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B&M records strongest ever week, but discount retailer warns of lower UK sales this year

·1-min read
<p>A B&M employee before the pandemic</p> (B&M)

A B&M employee before the pandemic


Warm weather triggering bumper demand for garden products has helped B&M to record its busiest ever week, although the discount retailer warned growth will slow this year.

The FTSE 100 chain said revenues in the year to March 27 surged nearly 26% to £4.8 billion. Statutory pretax profit soared to £525.4 million from £252 million.

The firm, which makes most of its sales in the UK and has 681 shops here, was an ‘essential’ retailer and allowed to stay open during the pandemic.

Chief executive Simon Arora said there was good demand for cleaning and DIY products.

He added: “To our astonishment we took more money in the last week of March than any Christmas week in our 15 year history.”

He pointed to good weather prompting people to spend on their gardens. At the end of March 2021, people were allowed to meet outdoors in groups of six people.

But the group, which repaid business rates relief and furlough money during the year, said the B&M UK business expects to see a decline in like for like revenues in the current financial year.

Comparable sales in the first nine weeks were down 1% from a year earlier, when there was huge customer demand from shoppers during lockdowns.

Shares in B&M fell 14.4p to 546.8p.

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